Sunday, July 24, 2016

22-23 Jul: From Oriental to Coinjock, NC

River Dunes Pool Bar
Friday (22-Jul) was a lazy day spent just hanging around the River Dunes Marina.  We knocked out some routine recurring maintenance chores and caught up on the news.  Phone calls were a challenge – our AT&T service occasionally registered less than one bar of reception, but more typically nothing at all.  However, the WiFi signal was excellent, and we actually got a decent number of TV stations using just the OTA antenna (no cable service here.)  That evening we dined at the marina’s Harbor Club restaurant, which is open only on weekends; the menu isn’t extensive but the service and food were excellent (we highly recommend the snowy grouper.)
River Dunes Cabanas and Pool

We cast off lines at 0900 on Saturday (23-Jul) and pointed Ghost Rider’s bow north again, this time aiming for the Deep Point anchorage about 65 NM away.  The ICW in this area is made up mostly of interconnected rivers (Neuse, Pungo, Pamlico and Alligator), and we had good depths with mostly wide horizontal clearances. What few bridges we encountered were of the fixed & tall variety.
Michelle & Ghost Rider at
River Dunes

The theme of remoteness continued for the entire day’s route, as did AT&T’s lack of cellular coverage, and we sighted only a handful of other boats along the way.  We had sunny skies and dry weather, but it was hot again (mid 90’s) and somewhat humid (60%), although a decent breeze provided some relief.  Even the water temperature actually hit 90F today.  So, as we recorded main engine stuffing box temps under 100F, Rick finally declared victory on that maintenance item.  Yay.
North Carolina ICW

We arrived at our anchorage as planned around 1830, set the hook in 10 feet of water, fired up the gennie and cranked up the A/C.  This isn’t a particularly well-protected anchorage, but there is so little boat traffic here and with the winds at only around 10K, it was smooth enough; it’s also roomy (although we were the only boat within miles) and provided good holding.  We also managed to get a weak but mostly usable 4G signal out of AT&T.
Sunset at Deep Point Anchorage

To wrap up a long but good day we enjoyed a cocktail and beautiful sunset on the fly bridge. We ate a late dinner but crashed early.

We pulled the anchor at 0930 on Sunday (24-Jul) and continued our northerly path up the ICW towards Coinjock, NC. Supposedly the name Coinjock is a Native American term for mulberries -- although they don't grow here.  Go figure.

It was another hot day (mid-90's) but nonetheless we ran sans genset, and as long as one stayed in the shade, a light breeze made it tolerable.  Although Rick still preferred to drive from the pilot house with a fan blowing on him.  Chelle piloted her shifts from the fly bridge, where, as she put it "there's a dragonfly party going on up here."  They were fairly numerous, and some looked large enough to be the state bird.  Despite their size they are, of course, harmless, unless you're a fly or a mosquito; so we didn't mind having them along for the ride today.
Coinjock Marina

Apart from having to dodge numerous crab trap pots in Albemarle Sound -- where we also re-entered cell phone civilization -- it was an uneventful and relatively short run up to Coinjock (about 7 hours covering 47 NM.)  We maneuvered Ghost Rider into an alongside tie at the Coinjock Marina just before 1630, after which we cranked up the A/C and then boat & crew all got much-needed showers.
Coinjock Marina & Restaurant

The marina is interesting -- it is literally right on the ICW, with just one long dock (1200 feet worth), very helpful staff, fuel dock, restaurant, very fast free WiFi, and yes, cable TV!

That evening we ate at their dockside restaurant, which historically has received rave reviews; they are known for their prime rib, so much so that they recommend you reserve one when you make your dinner reservation, else they may run out of the stuff before you get there.  We tried it...and we still prefer a filet mignon, or better yet, snowy grouper or mahi.
Scotch and a Birthday Cake !!
Lastly, Chelle insisted on adding a picture of the evening's final event (Rick is the writer, she is the executive editor) which was a somewhat reluctant 'celebration' of Rick's 64th birthday.  But gotta admit, the angel food cake with cream cheese and fudge topping was pretty damned good.

We're going to spend another day or two here, mostly dependent on when some needed parts and supplies arrive.  After that, next stop is Atlantic Yacht Basin (AYB) in Chesapeake, Va.